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Tancredo BackPedals on CNN


Think Progress reports on Rep. Tom Tancredo’s most recent appearance on CNN’s 360 with Anderson Cooper. He falsely denied ever saying the United States should consider “tak[ing] out” Muslim holy sites in the event of a terrorist nuclear attack on the United States.

Where is the Colorado media? Tancredo did make that comment at the time on the Pat Campbell Show, WFLA 540, Thursday, July 14, 2005, and it was one of his most widely published comments. For example, a Fox news article on it is here.


“Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites,” Tancredo answered.

“You’re talking about bombing Mecca,” Campbell said.

“Yeah,” Tancredo responded.

The congressman later said he was “just throwing out some ideas” and that an “ultimate threat” might have to be met with an “ultimate response.”

Read the earlier transcript from the radio show. Then read his comments during his Anderson Cooper appearance:


GUEST: Congressman Tancredo is the same man who a few years ago said that we should consider taking out Mecca in order to send a message to the terrorists.

TANCREDO: Whoa — that is absolutely —

GUEST: This gentleman is not the man to be –

TANCREDO: You have no respect to say a thing like that.

GUEST: — to preserve all human life.


TANCREDO: That is absolutely untrue that I said we should take out Mecca in order to send a message.

GUEST: Sir, you said we should consider it.

TANCREDO: It was never to, quote, send a message. That is an entirely inaccurate way —

GUEST: Sir, did you say that we should consider taking out Mecca?

TANCREDO: What I said was, well, do you want to fight that battle again? I’m happy to. But what I’m telling you what you just said is not only inaccurate, but I think it’s disingenuous.


To which Cooper later responded:

COOPER: Well, as always we care about the facts on “360.” We checked the transcripts of Congressman Tancredo’s interview with Pat Campbell. When asked how he would respond to nuclear weapons, he said, quote, If this happens in the United States and it would be determined it is the result of extremist fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites. When asked, you mean bombing Mecca? Tancredo answered, yeah.

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